Republicans are reaching a new pinnacle of institutional racism by making sure white people get the government help they need while cutting black people off. It's like a return to the good ol' days because once upon a time, white conservatives loved welfare. They loved the idea of the government providing a safety net for Americans that fell on hard times. They loved the idea of Medicare and Social Security and food stamps; they loved them some socialism, yes they did.
But that was before black people were entitled to it.
Whites sure did love that black people had to pay into the social safety net with their taxes but they surely did hate when they started to reap the benefits from it, too. Then the idea of a safety net magically started to sound more like something lazy people used to avoid work. But only if they were black, of course. When white people had to collect welfare of any kind, it's because they needed the help and they deserved it, naturally.
This unbelievably racist mindset has guided conservative politics for generations and we are seeing the latest iteration of it now:
Since the announcement, states have raced to implement new work requirements, which will have the effect of bumping hundreds of thousands of their poorest citizens off the Medicaid rolls. But in more recent months, a number of GOP-controlled states have been quietly crafting waivers that would end up shielding rural, white residents from this new scheme...
The Trump administration added the new requirements because Trump, and all of the millionaires and billionaires he appointed to his administration, have a visceral hatred of the poor. This is the national Republican Party in a nutshell: Tax cuts for the poor, safety net cuts for everyone else.
But state level parties don't have the luxury of spitting on poor rural whites, aka, the GOP's base. It's easy enough to convince them that they lost their job to an immigrant or that Muslims are going to attack them in the middle of the night in the middle of Idaho (it could happen!), but when Trump and the Republican Congress take away their Medicaid and food stamps and then brag about it on Fox News, there's not enough propaganda in the world to make poor rural whites blame coastal liberal elites for the food missing from their table.
Just as a matter of political survival, state Republicans have to carve out exemptions. But for whites only, thank you very much:
In Michigan, for instance, Medicaid work requirements would exempt those living in counties with an unemployment rate of over 8.5 percent — but leave out high-unemployment (and majority-black) cities such as Detroit and Flint. According to an analysis of state data done by The Post, whites would account for 85 percent of those eligible for the unemployment exemption, despite making up only 57 percent of the potentially affected population. African Americans, in contrast, would constitute a mere 1.2 percent of people eligible for an exemption, despite being 23 percent of the affected Medicaid population.
When Republicans saw those numbers and realized what they could get away with, I promise you they dialed up their mistresses or favorite escort and had a night out on the town. The only thing that excites a Republican more than hurting poor people is hurting poor people with black skin. Listening to their legal justifications when the ACLU sues the bloody hell out of them will be a wonder of the ages.
The Washington Post's Christine Emba points out that all the GOP's talk about the "dignity of work" is pure bullshit to disguise the racism that's dictated the right's ideology on welfare for years:
It’s simply impossible not to see intent in racial disparities as large as the one these Medicaid waivers would generate. The GOP is making clear that these work requirements aren’t truly about the virtue of work, in general; they are about who needs to be working, and how much. And the answers to such questions are rarely grounded in the publicly espoused morality of help for all but in far more tribal considerations. Who deserves assistance, no strings attached? As it turns out, it’s those who look, think and vote like me. Who needs to get a firmer grip on those bootstraps and work to earn my help? Everyone else.
This is why Trump rushed aid to Florida and Texas but has left Puerto Rico to rot. This is why if California were to experience a major earthquake tomorrow, federal aid would be slow in coming if it even came at all. Republicans are doing their level best to break America apart into "us" and "them" and they have no intention of spending a dime on anyone not part of their tribe of soulless monsters as they gleefully take food from the mouths of children of color.
The only way this moral depravity stops is if the Republican Party is utterly destroyed at the ballot box forever. They are no longer a political party, they are a death cult. Vote accordingly.